The Girl Puzzle
by Kate Braithwaite
Publication Date: May 5, 2019
Crooked Cat Books
eBook & Paperback; 263 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Her published story is well known. But did she tell the whole truth about her ten days in the madhouse?
Down to her last dime and offered the chance of a job of a lifetime at The New York World, twenty-three-year old Elizabeth Cochrane agrees to get herself admitted to Blackwell’s Island Lunatic Asylum and report on conditions from the inside. But what happened to her poor friend, Tilly Mayard? Was there more to her high praise of Dr Frank Ingram than everyone knew?
Thirty years later, Elizabeth, known as Nellie Bly, is no longer a celebrated trailblazer and the toast of Newspaper Row. Instead, she lives in a suite in the Hotel McAlpin, writes a column for The New York Journal and runs an informal adoption agency for the city’s orphans.
Beatrice Alexander is her secretary, fascinated by Miss Bly and her causes and crusades. Asked to type up a manuscript revisiting her employer’s experiences in the asylum in 1887, Beatrice believes she’s been given the key to understanding one of the most innovative and daring figures of the age.
“Novelist Braithwaite (The Road to Newgate, 2018, etc.) delivers a well-researched and engrossing tale that focuses on female empowerment. A story of grit and perseverance that will appeal to readers interested in the history of women in journalism.” – Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
Kate Braithwaite grew up in Edinburgh but now lives with her family in the Brandywine Valley in Pennsylvania. Her daughter doesn’t think Kate should describe herself as a history nerd, but that’s exactly what she is. Always on the hunt for lesser known stories from the past, Kate’s books have strong female characters, rich settings and dark secrets.
The Girl Puzzle is her third novel.
Coffee and Ink’s Review
I don’t know if enough can be said about the bravery of Nellie Bly these days. The Girl Puzzle is an excellent addition to the 19th century journalist’s oeuvre. What I loved about this take on her life is the fictional Beatrice, her secretary toward the end of her life. The juxtaposition of the past and present make a nice contrast and Beatrice’s observations and devotion help us to understand their world and Nellie Bly a little better. The week she spent at the insane asylum must have felt nearly a lifetime and the author does an excellent job threading the past and present together to emphasize this. Well written and well researched; I loved it!
Blog Tour Schedule
Sunday, May 5
Review at Passages to the Past
Wednesday, May 8
Feature at What Is That Book About
Thursday, May 9
Review at Orange County Readers
Friday, May 10
Review at Macsbooks
Monday, May 13
Interview at Bookish Rantings
During the Blog Tour, we will be giving away a signed copy of The Girl Puzzle by Kate Braithwaite! To enter, please use the Gleam form below.
– Giveaway ends at 11:59 pm EST on May 17th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open INTERNATIONALLY.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspicion of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– The winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.